Friday, June 09, 2006

Marysville Elementary 4th & 5th grade Student's Paintings

Thursday, May 11, 2006


“Tongue” Clackamas Chinook Texts by Victoria Howard, Clackamas Chinook

Those persons who lived at their village right here, a little above the Willamette Falls at Oregon City were always playing. Now their wealthy headwoman died, and they put her away, they hung her up on branches of a tree, inside a canoe with small holes punched in it. Then when it became nighttime now they saw something just like fire. It came out from an island in the river high up in that direction on one side from the river. At that place then they placed two of them two Fish persons, they remained there, from both sides they watched that fire-like thing as it came there. Their name was ---Fish, a fish with some kind of sharp cutting edge from the river. Presently while they were there, then the thing came just like a tongue of fire. Now they were keeping watch at that place. It (Tongue) went directly to the place where that decreased person hung in her mortuary canoe. That thing got right to that place, and now his tongue tried to take the corpse. As his tongue lay there, then they the two Fish cut off the tip of the tongue tried to take the corpse. As his tongue lay there, then they the two Fish cut off the tip of the tongue, and then that thing, all the remainder of the lengthily extended organ went back now.

Then the people went, they went to get the dead person to take her corpse out of reach of the monster. Now they put the dead person away once again at a second location farther away, and so they continued to live there.

Then that thing, his name was actually Tongue, now all day long and all night he pleaded with the villagers saying, “Give me back the tip of tongue.” Well then he made them tired worn out by his reiterated pleas, and so they said, “Let us return it to him.” So then at that point they did give it back to him, whereupon he put an end to the village. He devoured absolutely all the people. Only one woman had gone away to dig flat button-like camas. She went back home in the evening, she sat down there on the height above her village, she noticed that there were no people at all. “I wonder where the people could have gone?”

There was smoke only at her own house, it was coming up out of her house. So then she descended the trail to the village, she went to her house, and there sat that dangerous being! Now that thing spoke to her, he informed her. “I ate all the people myself.” Now she said nothing whatever to him, she feared him. Then she covered those camas of hers to bake in hot ashes. And she gave him them to eat. He ate. When it became night again, then she went to bed alone. The following morning she went away again for camas.

She was already pregnant by her murdered husband, and her abdomen was becoming large. Now the two of them lived there. Then she thought, “Pretty soon now I shall be getting ill with labor pains, and so I shall go collect moss for use with the newborn infant.” Then she also collected firewood, she filled up her house with it, to use during the birth. Then indeed now she became ill, and she gave birth to a male infant. Now upon the fifth morning after, then she bathed.

And so they continued to live there. Now he the boy became big. Then she made him a small bow. And he played about. Then he said to her. “Mother! I saw something, if my bow were bigger I could kill it.” So then on the following day then she said to that dangerous being, “Make a bow for him. He saw something to hunt and kill for us.” So he made him a somewhat larger bow. And then the child went away, and he killed a rabbit. He brought it back, and he said to her, “Mother! I brought it now.” She said to him, “Indeed. Its name is rabbit.” Then she skinned it, she put it on a stake to roast beside the fire. Then when it was cooked, she gave it to them to eat. That thing (Tongue) took it, he merely threw it into his mouth and gulped it down.

Now he, the youth went here and there still more, and he hunted. Now when he returned again, then he said to her, “Mother!” If my bow were larger, then I could kill something big and spotted all over that is, I could kill a fawn.” “Oh”, she said once again then to that thing, “Now take a large bow for him.” So he made a bigger one for him. And the following morning the child went, he hunted then, and presently he returned with a fawn. Then they gave that thing half of it, and again he merely gulped it down.

Now then the youth went away again, and the child hunted all the time. Then he brought back a deer. Occasionally he killed two deer. Then she took only a little of them, and she gave him (Tongue) all the rest of them. So they continued to live there, and that is the way they did to him.

Now her son became an adult male, and then he inquired to his mother, “How does it happen to be that we are all alone and we never see any other people?” She replied to him, “Yes. I had not supposed that it would be soon before I informed you.” So then she told him about it then. She said to him, “This thing that you see is no person. He devoured our village, he ate all the people, and you were not yet a person you were unborn.” Then he said to her, “Now why did you not inform me long, long ago?” So then she told him. He said to her, “I shall go away from here now. I shall not return before a few days. I shall camp overnight before I come back.” So then he camped out for two nights, seeking spirit power.

Then he went, he went back home, and he did not bring back with him the deer that he had killed, how many of them I do not know. He got back, he said to his mother, “Tell him to go fetch them.” So then she spoke to him. “Yes,” he replied to her. Now he showed him where to go to find the cache of deer. Then the dangerous being went, he went to fetch them, he brought them back. She said to him, “Now butcher them yourself! Eat them!”

Then the youth went to take a sweat bath. He got there to the sweathouse, and his heart did not feel good about the murders of his people by Tongue. He stayed out a few times strengthening his spirit-power in successive nights out. Then he again said to his mother, “I am going away again tomorrow, I shall be gone for quite some time.” Then he went away, he went on the following day then, and he stayed at some place there in the mountains, and he exercised that is, he tried to strengthen his spirit-power still more.

Now when he was all though exercising his spirit-power strength, then he went back home, and along his route he piled up rotten wood, and he wished that then that rotten wood there all became deer, as many as there were rotten logs piled up there. Then he went back toward home, he went along, and now he said to his mother, “Tell him to bring the deer now.” So she went to him then, “Pack the deer out now.” Then he got ready. “Yes,” he said to her, “I shall pack them back out now.” So he went along, and he packed back some of them, he brought two or three at a time. He did this all day long, and then he quit. Now he had brought them all back.

Then she said to him, “It’s yours, so eat it now!” The he ate, and he ate all night long. And when it was close to sunrise, then he nodded sleepily. Now she said to him, “Eat! Your uneaten deer are just lying there yet! But now, he now sleep heavily, and shortly afterward he fell backward there, he slept.

Then they took their possessions, and they set fire to their house. Now they sat outside, they watched it burn. That thing (Tongue) burned, and now he was completely consumed.

Then they made a different house, and they lived at that place. And he hunted, and he brought back a deer, he brought it back to his mother. She smoke-dried the meat. Then he said to her, “Enough of this now, I am going to leave you now.”

So then he went to the mountains. He did not tell his mother where he was going. Now then he labored in the mountains, she sought and collected feathers. He sought bones, various kinds of animal bones. Now I do not know how long a time afterward, but it was quite a long time that he was collecting all sorts of feathers of birds. Then he made a pile of them, and he counted them for so many persons as many as Tongue had murdered, and so many bones. He fixed feathers, he spread them out in a row, and he counted these from where they came, he piled these up. And he fixed for in order to have it transform into his father. Now he also laid out feathers for canoes so that they would metamorphose into canoes. He said, “These feathers will become canoes.” He finished everything.

At that point then he wished them to become persons. Those feathers and bones became people. Those different feathers became canoes. Now there the people were, all of them there now went into their canoes, and away they went. Then he followed them.

They reached the falls at Oregon City, and they worked now at their fishing there and he stood by, he watched. He was their father, he was the one who showed them how to make new fishing gear there. But now when they passed by they some of the people got angry at him. “What indeed is he doing standing idly here?” Others on the other hand said nothing to him.

Now he did not feel good in his heart because of the unjust and humiliating accusation of idleness, by the very people he had resuscitated. So then he went away, he waded into the water. Now his mother saw that he was going. So she ran, she chided the people, “It was only he himself who made you, he brought you back to here.” So then they followed him but in vain, they said to him “Come back!” No. He went along nevertheless. Now he wept then as he stood at that spot in the water. And his mother wept. Then she said to the people, “Now that is enough of that. If you had not done like that to him, you would have lived here as persons. But now enough of that. Now we shall scatter and each go our separate ways as fish, bird, animal other than as persons.”

Paint making with minerals from the Northwest

As part of the art class the students are learning the process of making paints from minerals that I have collected from around Oregon and Washington. On the left a few students are grinding minerals into pigment and sifting it through a sieve to remove any larger particles. On the right the pigments are being mixed with an egg tempra medium that is then being mixed with palette knives and a muller on a sheet of glass. Egg tempra is one of many potential mediums that can be used to make paint. Another traditional binder that the natives used for making the pictographs was salmon egg oil, which was abundant along the Columbia River, especially at Ceilo Falls where a large majority of the salmon where caught in dip nets as they made there way up the river to spawn. These traditional mineral paints will be used to add color to the students pictograph designs after they have been sandblasted into the columnar basalt that will be placed on the earth mound in the Marysville Elementary playground.

Walking the trail along the Columbia River

Three classes of 5th grade students, a total of 66 students took a trip to Columbia Hills State Park to see the pictographs that were painted upon the basalt along the Columbia River. Greg Archuleta of the Clackamas Chinook and tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde helped to guide the students and teachers while talking about the history and importance of these images to the people that created them.

Tsagaglallal / She Who Watches

Tsagaglallal or She Who Watches is seen here looking over the Marysville Elementary students that visted Columbia Hills State Park to see the pictographs and petroglyphs that were created hundreds to thousands of years ago. As part of the Marysville Pictograph Project the students are studying pictographs from a variety of cultures as a way of conveying the story of "Tongue" in the form of their own pictograph designs. She Who Watches is one of the most famous pictographs that can be found in the Columbia River Gorge where Ceilo Falls used to exist before the building of the dams. The majority of the pictographs that use to exist along the narrow corridor of the river around what is now The Dalles are now buried beneath the surface of the water. As you could imagine, a lot of cultural heritage was buried as a result of the creation of the dams along the Columbia River. We are fortuante enough to be able to view what is left of the pictographs thanks to the Yakima Indains whom have opened this cultural treasure for all to enjoy. If you want to visit Columbia Hills State Park to see the pictographs you will need to make a reservation to get a guided tour by one of the park rangers.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MCM Architect's Playground Design

MCM Architects have created the designs for the Marysville Playground Park Plan, which have kindly integrated the art designs that I have made based on the story of "Tongue". The major overhaul of the playground is scheduled for next summer, but we will begin creating some of the physical elements such as the cob benches in less than a month. Hopefully, we will have an earth mound built up by this summer in which we will be able to start planting native plants in the fall around the columnar basalt rock formations. The structures that are being added to the playground along with a permeable surface that will incorporate the Camas Woman's face and the stage will also occur next summer.

Monster "Tongue"

This design is an aerial view of the monster that lives on top of the rock island. When you walk the path of the tongue from the stage to the top mound you will be able to look down upon Camas Woman and the stage below. The face of the monster will emerge from the ground creating a cob bench to sit upon. The bench will actually be the monster's nose, eyes, and brow. The rest of the face will be a mosaic pattern that will be a part of the surface in which you walk upon. There will also be an eco-roof that rests above the cob bench as a shelter from the elements. These designs will happen in the later stages of the mound development, but will complete the story. This will be the origin of the tongue itself as the tongue is the pathway in which leads the viewer past the natural rock formations in which the pictographs will reside. As the viewer walks along the path the story will be told from the top of the mound to the bottom where the story will end at the stage. The idea is that the story will continue to be told by the viewer either on the stage
itself (metaphorically speaking) or will be passed on orally to others, emphasizing the importance of keeping our own traditions and cultural heritage alive.

Sturgeon Cob Bench

This is an aerial view of the Sturgeon cob bench that represents the fish person that cuts off the tip of the monster's tongue in the story of "Tongue". There will be two sturgeon cob benches resting at the base of the earth mound by the stage where the entrance of the pathway will begin. Each sturgeon will be about 15 feet in length and will be nestled up to a piece of basalt that will be about 10 feet in length lying on its side so that it can be sat upon. The two sturgeon will be facing each other and are the guardians of the mound in which the monster makes its home.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rock mound

The rock mound will look something like this, but will be filled in with a variety of native plants that have been used for food, medicine, crafts, tools, etc.... The mound itself will be about 80 feet in diameter and around 6-8 feet high not including the stone. The native plants will be identified with information on their individual uses and when and how to collect certain parts depending on the season and their growing cycle. These plants were vital to the native people that were sustained by what they had to offer. Of course their was an dynamic relationship between the plants, animals, and people that had been created over the centuries. Reconnecting this symbiotic relationship with these plants is vital if we choose to live with our environment and to begin to appreciate the cyclical patterns that have existed between humans and plants in the past. As foreigners to this land, we must learn from the idigenous people like the Clackamas Chinook, whom lived in harmony with the land for centuries before the arrival of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.

Camas Woman

The Marysville Pictograph Project is in its beginning stages, but the vision is real and alive. Thanks to the vision and funding of the Confluence Project as well as RACC, I will be working with three 4th and 5th grade classes at Marysville Elementary where we will be studying and creating pictograph designs that will become etched and painted onto stone upon an earth mound to be built in the school playground. This project is in conjunction with the Marysville School Playground Park Plan that will be implemented over the course of this summer and into next summer. Marysville Elementary is also a Village Building Convergence site which occurs in May from the 19th-28th that the City Repair Project has manifested as a way of bringing communities together to create sacred places and centers that emphasize community democracy, natural building, and sustainable living. The Foster Powell Neighborhood Association is also a vital means of support for the Marysville Elementary community in which we hope to attract fellow visionaries whom want to participate in making this vision a reality!!!!!!